Is life great or what?
"Team of destiny" is how a lot of the nation's sportswriters have taken to describing the Ravens after their upset victory over
But to our tastes, the most intriguing element of the game involves none of the above. Our eyes will inevitably turn to one man, the player on whom the Ravens' fortunes are most likely to rise or fall. By most measures of his trade, he has had an extraordinary season and career (although he has been a pro for just five seasons). The Broncos victory was as much about his clutch performance as anyone's.
So why do so many Baltimoreans still struggle with their feelings about
And yes, sometimes he plays poorly. But we have yet to meet a quarterback who does not, at least occasionally, struggle at this most-demanding position. Yet just by sheer statistics — victories in the regular season and playoffs, a career 60-percent completion rate and favorable touchdown-to-interception ratio — he is among the top in the game. Nevertheless, more than once this season, he has been asked by reporters: Are you among the game's elite? He says yes. So do his teammates. The nattering classes of sports talk radio and Internet blather have their doubts, however, and so the matter seems unresolved.
This much is certain: the Ravens are regarded by oddsmakers as underdogs to the Patriots this Sunday, and much of that has to do with a pronounced (perhaps even excessive) respect for that team's quarterback and his ability. If the Ravens are to advance, and their own quarterback wishes to prove to the world, his fans included, that he is of the same caliber as his counterpart, this is the moment to shine.
And here's how he should feel about that — great. Few of us get such an opportunity, and he has proven himself before. Just last Saturday, in fact. His elite quarterback rating of 120 over the last two games (and most notably against the well-regarded Broncos pass defense) suggests he and his receivers are more than up to the task. Say it's so, Joe. The Super Bowl beckons just beyond the chilly confines of